by Anton Shilov
08/05/2009 | 04:22 AM
It was first semiconductor division of Siemens AG, which manufactured and developed various chips and dynamic random access memory (DRAM), that got spun off to form Infineon AG in 1999. In 2006, Infineon itself spun off its memory business into separate legal entity called Qimonda AG. By late 2009, a decade after Siemens got rid of its chip business, the DRAM maker will be shut down forever, various media reports claim.
Various media reports claim that insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé as well as worker’s council agreed to switch the DRAM factory in Dresden, Germany, forever by the end of the year and sell off the remaining equipment in pieces. At present there are only two hundred employees working to maintain the fabrication tools and about one hundred will be laid off because of the decision.
Qimonda filed for insolvency on the 23rd of January, 2009. The insolvency administration was trying to find investors who would acquire the larger part of the company’s European operations with some help from German and Portuguese governments.
In May it was reported that sources familiar with the proceedings reportedly indicated that so far serious interests has not been expressed in Qimonda as a DRAM manufacturer, but only in parts of the company, such as intellectual property or specific parts of the equipment.
In July it became clear that no investors would be found and the insolvency administrator appointed several companies to sell the equipment from the factory in Dresden.
In early August memory makers Elpida and Winbond expressed interest to acquire graphics memory intellectual property and other GDDR-related assets from Qimonda.
With Qimonda gone, DRAM manufacturing will disappear from Europe. At present, the lion’s share of memory is already produced in Asia with one manufacturer (Elpida) remaining in Japan and one (Micron) based in the U.S.